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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954. China and Japan (in two parts)
(1952-1954)

The China area,   pp. 1-1061 ff. PDF (381.2 MB)


Page 2


FOREIGN RELAV
441.9331/1-852
Memorandum by the Secretary of State to the British Secretary of
                 State for Foreign Affairs (Eden)
CONFIDENTIAL                      [WASHINGTON,] January 8, 1952.
  At the President's direction I submit this memorandum following
the discussion between the President and the Prime Minister, with
ourselves present, held on Saturday night, January 5th, aboard the
Williamsburg, on the subject of China trade. 1
  The President expressed himself as seriously concerned over indi-
cations that the United Kingdom was continuing to give substan-
tial assistance to Communist China through trade in strategic and
other materials from British sources or carried on British flag ves-
sels.
  The information furnished the President by the Chief of Naval
Operations, 2 upon which he based his remarks, is as follows:
  Between 1 July 1950 and 30 November 1951 a total of at least
167 British registered and British owned merchant ships have en-
gaged in trade with Communist China. The total gross tonnage of
these ships is over one million. British controlled shipping account-
ed for over half of the non-Communist registered shipping tonnage
in the China trade in this period.
  There are at least 163 ships registered in other non-Communist
countries which were, between 1 July 1950 and 30 November 1951,
engaged in trade with Communist China. The total gross tonnage
of these ships is slightly less than one million.
  Over the period stated above, the monthly average of voyages of
British ships engaged in the China trade has been forty-eight.
Since mid-summer there has been a reduction in the number of
monthly voyages of these ships. In September there were thirty-six,
in October thirty-one and in November thirty. This decrease in
British owned tonnage is partially offset by an increase in Commu-
nist flag traffic to China, especially Polish. Communist charters of
British registered shipping to handle normal trade to India and
South America has released Polish flag vessels for the China trade.
In addition continuing Communist ship purchases are being em-
ployed almost exclusively in China trade.
  We estimate that Communist China imported a minimum of
600,000 short tons per month by ship during 1951. This compares
with an estimated monthly eastbound capacity for the Trans-Sibe-
rian Railroad of 670,000 short tons.
1 President Truman and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill held discus-
sions in Washington, Jan. 5-8 and Jan. 18; for related documentation, see
volume
VI.
2Adm. William N. Fechteler.
2
VOLUME XIV


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